Books by succulent expert Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra’s three books on succulents provide in-depth information on growing, planting, maintaining, and designing with succulents. All are bestsellers from Timber Press, the leading publisher of garden books in the US. Order them by clicking below or wherever books are sold.

Designing with Succulents

It’s here! The updated edition of the book
that launched worldwide interest in succulents:

Illustrated with 400 gorgeous photos—basically a brand new book—the second edition includes the essentials of the first along with a decade’s worth of innovative and appealing ideas.

— “A book every succulent lover needs.”Garden Design magazine

— “Simply a joy to read.” — Gerhard Bock, Succulents and More 

— “Everything to keep the succulent lover entertained and plenty of knowledge to help a new gardener become an expert.” — Phoenix Home & Garden magazine. 

“With more than 400 engaging, colorful photographs, this is a book for the seasoned succulent aficionado or the wannabe windowsill gardener.” Country Gardens by Better Homes & Gardens

— “I recommend Designing with Succulents to all of my followers and colleagues. It’s my go-to resource for inspiration and information. Everything you need to know about succulent design and care is covered. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional designer, your library is incomplete without this book.” — Laura Eubanks, landscape designer, Design for Serenity.

See more reviews

Read the preface:
A Decade of Innovation in Succulent Design — The world of succulent design has advanced significantly since… [Continue reading]

Succulents Simplified

I introduce 100 of the best succulents for gardens and containers, explain how to grow them, and give step-by-step methods for using them in appealing, design-oriented projects.

This, my third book about succulents, is a kind of prequel to the previous two. It’s a guide for novice enthusiasts, a quick reference for anyone seeking a good overview, and a vehicle for presenting design ideas I’m excited about. Throughout, I share my perspective on a subject that has become my passion.

“Ms. Baldwin’s step-by-step projects for crafters as well as numerous container and dish gardens give Succulents Simplified a wider appeal than a straight gardening book. It’s the perfect starter volume for those new to succulents, while satisfying and delighting veterans with the variation and solid growing tips based on the author’s evident joy in succulents and cacti.” —New York Journal of Books

“I have found the book to be invaluable when I want to convert homeowners to succulents. I recommend the book to many clients as it helps them get better acquainted with the plants. Once they familiarize themselves with the plants they love them!” — Glenn Frey, Black Mountain Landscape Design, San Diego


Succulent Container Gardens

Shows how anyone regardless of climate or space constraints can grow sculptural, low-water succulents in a wide variety of easy-care and beautiful potted gardens.

Named one of Amazon’s top 10 gardening books for 2010 and recommended by the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Sunset Magazine, Phoenix Home and Garden and numerous other publications.

— Best succulents for pots
— Small-space solutions indoors and out
— Smart, simple plant care techniques
— 300+ colorful and creative ideas

“With gorgeous photos on nearly every page, Debra Lee Baldwin’s Succulent Container Gardens celebrates these low-water, easy-care plants and shows endless ways to display them in your garden.” —Sunset Magazine


A commitment to excellence

All my books are from Timber Press, the largest publisher of gardening books in the US. Timber’s horticultural editors and fact-checkers unparalleled in the industry. Books are extensively and painstakingly researched, written, designed and produced. Each takes a year to research, photograph and write; and a year to edit, illustrate and publish.

Moreover, because accuracy and excellence are paramount to me (and I assume to readers as well), I went the extra mile and hired my own expert to check the manuscript of the second edition of Designing with Succulents. Brian Kemble is a renowned succulent horticulturist on staff at the Ruth Bancroft Garden and a respected member of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America. For an enlightening and entertaining look at the process, I offer excerpts from Brian’s erudite, tactful and occasionally tongue-in-cheek emails about my ms. I have no doubt you’ll enjoy “Behind the Scenes with Designing with Succulents” and share my admiration and gratitude. ~ Debra Lee Baldwin 

Designing with Succulents (original edition, 2007)

This is the book that revolutionized dry-climate gardening and launched worldwide interest in succulents. A completely revised and updated second edition came out in 2017. This has 200 photos and two chapters not included in the new edition. There is also a French edition of Designing With Succulents.

Ranked among Amazon’s Top Ten Books of 2007 in the category Home & Garden.

— Hundreds of plant recommendations from 50+ genera of the best succulents for residential landscapes.
— 90 easy-care, drought-tolerant companion plants
— 300 photos of exceptional public and private gardens.
— The creativity of 22 landscapers and 30 homeowners.
— Dozens of appealing ideas for container plantings.
— Gardens that range from Mexico to British Columbia.

“Debra Lee Baldwin inspires us to look at succulents as living sculptures… Designing with Succulents is inspiring, practical, and complete—a treasure for any gardener who loves these otherworldly beauties.” —Sunset Magazine

Sensational Succulents Coloring Book

Features 75 illustrations by renowned European artist Laura Serra inspired by my photographs (including many from my books). Sensational Succulents showcases an extensive array of succulents and emphasizes their melodic geometry and exquisite patterns. This beautifully illustrated book offers hours of restorative, creative fun and a fresh way to enjoy your favorite plants. Makes a great gift! View the photos the book’s illustrations are based on and download a sample page.

“What could be better inspiration for artists than the intricate rosettes and fractal-like patterns found in so many succulents?” — Genevieve Schmidt, North Coast Journal

Related info on this site:

A book plate creates a very special signed copy! 

Book plates are autographed and personalized, peel-and-stick labels that go inside a book’s cover. Mine have my publisher’s logo and my own artwork… [Learn more]

Signed book plate

What Reviewers are Saying About “Designing with Succulents”

Excerpt: “Has everything to keep the succulent lover entertained and plenty of knowledge to help a new gardener become an expert.” [Read more]

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About Debra Lee Baldwin